French niche brand Bon Parfumeur is new to the fragrance world, having been founded in 2017, but has already made something of a reputation for itself as a purveyor of quality fragrances at affordable prices.
If you’re curious about the difference between a “niche” and “designer” perfume, by the way, feel free to take a gander at this article for more information.
Taking the minimalist approach to perfumery that is so in vogue at the moment, each fragrance in the Bon Parfumeur catalog is represented by a number (such as 702 or 401) and a list of three “key” notes: for example, “orange blossom, petitgrain, bergamot” or “tea, cardamom, mimosa”.
003 yuzu, feuilles de violette, vétiver (translating to “yuzu, violet leaves, and vetiver”), which I will henceforth refer to as simply 003, is a 2019 release from the brand. Though I don’t love it as much as 004 from the brand, which I reviewed here, it is nevertheless a fragrance well worth seeking out.
003 yuzu, feuilles de violette, vétiver is a fresh, spicy, grassy fragrance centered around vetiver, ozonic violet leaves, and citrus that is perfectly apropos for the spring and summer. Unique and high quality, 004 also boasts strong performance and excellent value for money.
Want to know more? Let’s take a closer look at Bon Parfumeur 003 yuzu, feuilles de violette, vétiver.
Top Notes: yuzu, bergamot, violet leaves
Middle Notes: neroli, jasmine, elemi resin
Base Notes: musk, vetiver
003 is a fragrance which revolves around two of my favorite “summer” notes: violet leaves and vetiver.
The fragrance opens fresh, zingy, green, and a little bit bitter, like the smell of a newly broken plant stem. The blending here is very deft and smooth – nothing in particular stands out at first beyond the immediately noticeable grassy twang of vetiver and the unmistakable, somewhat gelatinous effect of violet leaves.
This is not the gassy violet leaves of Dior’s Fahrenheit or Fahrenheit Le Parfum, but something more along the lines of Ermenegildo Zegna’s Uomo: crisp, watery, gelatinous, almost cucumber-like, and very refreshing.
There is also definitely a white floral component at play here. The two white floral notes are very well mixed – the neroli clean and bright, the jasmine supple and a little bit sensuous. Over time, they dissolve effortlessly into the smooth, clean white musk of the base.
Personally, I love this addition, as I often find summer citrus fragrances to be just a smidge too bland (and too sharp) for my taste. 003 definitely isn’t.
Now, let’s come to the issue of yuzu. I am pretty familiar with the scent of yuzu, having been to Japan and smelled the real deal, as well as eaten yuzu marmalade and candy. Additionally, I own James Heeley’s Note de Yuzu, which to my nose is pretty darn close to the scent of real yuzu. But how does the yuzu smell in 003?
Sadly, I have to tell you that I smell next to no yuzu in this fragrance. I do get a citrus rind-esque smell (the rind is the most aromatic part of the yuzu, of course, as is the case with most citruses), but it doesn’t necessarily take my mind to yuzu per se.
The fact that the citrus is combined with elemi resin – a variety of resin that is known for its bright, lemony scent and which is often used in concert with citrus notes – doesn’t exactly extract the best qualities of the yuzu, either.
If you’re looking for a yuzu fragrance, I should say that you would be much better served by checking out Heeley’s Note de Yuzu or Strangers Parfumerie’s Yuzu Soda instead.
Nevertheless, 003 is a lovely, if simple and linear fragrance. After the zingy opening blast, 003 calms down considerably to a smooth, grassy vetiver fragrance with lilting white florals and a bit of clean musk. There’s also a tea vibe lurking somewhere in the mix
To me, it has a very calming, comforting effect. There’s a spa-like feeling to the fragrance which makes it smell relaxing and contemplative; Zen-like, even. It’s a very natural, almost botanical kind of a fragrance that evokes the scent of a field of summer grass on a sunny day. And that is exactly what I want (and need) right now.
If I were to describe 003 in a few words they would be: fresh, green, grassy, earthy, floral, spicy, natural, relaxing, and botanical.
The packaging for 003 is simple but well made.
003 comes in a small, rectangular white box with minimal branding. A cardboard sleeve with the name of the fragrance and its notes fits around the box and can be easily removed. The box opens book-like, revealing a niche into which the bottle fits comfortably.
Simple, effective packaging with minimal waste. I like it.
The bottle is a simple, small, squat, and rectangular affair. A sticker decal similar to the sleeve of the box is applied to the bottle, but other than that there is little-to-no branding to speak of. The cap is metal and feels pretty well made, actually. The sprayer dispenses a fine mist, just as it was intended to do.
Overall, the bottle is simple and minimalistic, but just right. No complaints here, especially considering the price, performance, and quality of the scent.
The performance of 003 is above-average.
The longevity of 003, at least in my experience, is excellent.
Four to five sprays on my perfume-eating skin give me seven to eight hours of longevity, and more on fabric.
That’s more than good enough for me. It might not give you beastly longevity that will last for days, but it’s more than respectable longevity for almost anybody, and especially for a fresh, summer scent.
Of course, if you want even more longevity, you could simply increase the number of sprays you apply.
Projection & Sillage
The projection and sillage of 003 are similarly above-average.
Four to five sprays gives me one to two hours of soft, but consistent projection and arm’s length sillage.
Again, it’s not a beast mode miasma like some fragrances, but people will absolutely be able to smell you (and will likely compliment you) if you come into close proximity to them. This fragrance is a little bit more restrained than its cousin 004, but it still has decent presence and smells especially great in the heat.
Value For Money
The value for money for 003, and really for the whole Bon Parfumeur line, is fantastic.
A 1 oz (30ml) bottle of 003 retails for €38, or $43 USD ($1.43/ml). A 3.4 oz (100ml) bottle retails for €82, or $92.78 USD ($0.92/ml). A 0.5 oz (15ml) travel bottle retails for €24, or $27.16 USD.
As you can see, Bon Parfumeur offers a variety of sizes for you to choose from. As someone who has a big collection of perfumes, this is a huge plus for me. I own a 30ml bottle of 003, and that is more than enough for me..
For a niche fragrance made with high quality ingredients and great performance, that’s an absolute steal. This would be a fantastic addition to anyone’s summer lineup and would make a perfect gift, too.
Who Would Like It
This is an incredibly pleasant, natural, and inoffensive fragrance. I doubt seriously that anyone would find this challenging or off-putting in any way.
That said, I don’t think that this fragrance would be the top pick for just anybody, and I also don’t think it has the same kind of mass appeal as 004. Vetiver fragrances in general are not really the common people’s chosen scent in any case.
This is also ageless, genderless, and a fragrance which, in my mind, has no “sensuality” or “sex appeal” in any way. This is not for clubbing, panty (or boxer) dropping, or anything of that sort.
Instead, this is a fragrance for those who want to smell clean, fresh, and natural. I say with complete sincerity that this is the kind of smell I could imagine someone who is really into yoga or meditation wearing (though they would likely elect something a bit more incense-forward).
I could also see this appealing to people who don’t like strong scents or are offended by the often synthetics-laden designer perfumes that are in vogue nowadays.
I would recommend 003 to anyone looking for a fresh, green, and natural fragrance of any age or gender.
When To Wear It
The obvious choice would be to wear 003 in warm weather, spring or summer. I do think that this is the best time to wear it, since the fragrance doesn’t have the body and tenacity to survive for long in brick cold.
However, I think you could still get away with this scent in the winter, so long as it’s not the coldest day of the year; I think it would simply be atomized as soon as you step out of the door. But on a coolish day, say in the 40s or low 50s, 003 would be a nice, refreshing change of pace from heavy, sweet, smoky winter fragrances.
As for occasions, I think you could literally wear this any time, anywhere. Office, school, casual hangouts, semi-formal, formal, whatever. I doubt very much that there exists any occasion for which 003 would not be appropriate, except for perhaps date night.
This is very much a daytime fragrance, meant to be worn when the sun is shining and the skies are clear.
003 is a fairly unique fragrance which I can’t compare to anything off the top of my head. It does remind me a little, teensy-tiny bit of Encre Noire Sport, a similarly fresh, clean vetiver scent, as well as something from Ormonde Jayne (I can’t say exactly what, but the overall smell of 003 reminds me of an Ormonde Jayne scent), but I really had to do some digging to figure out some similar fragrances.
Many people online have compared this to Elizabeth Arden’s famous Green Tea. I personally have never smelled that scent, but I do agree that there is a tea vibe to 003, so they very well could be similar.
Another oft-mentioned comparison is with Miller Harris’ Tea Tonique, a fragrance I’ve been sampling recently. I would say that they are somewhat similar, but Tea Tonique is a bit richer, sweeter, and floral than 003, especially in the opening. Still, in the drydown they are pretty close.
Others have compared it to Dior’s Homme Cologne (the 2020 version), which I can absolutely say I don’t get. That fragrance is a lot heavier on the citrus, whereas 003 is mostly about grassy vetiver, clean florals, and musk.
Finally, some have claimed a similarity to Escentric Molecules’ Escentric 02, which I find absolutely strange. I suppose that everyone has a different sense of smell. That fragrance smells sort of like a Tom Collins (gin and lemonade) with an animalic musk lurking underneath. It’s a brilliant fragrance, but definitely not similar to 003, at least in my opinion.
So, if you’re looking for a similar fragrance to 003, I would say that Miller Harris’ Tea Tonique is your best bet. However, it’s a good deal more expensive than 003.
Pros & Cons
- A high quality, natural-smelling fragrance
- Solid performance
- Excellent value for money
- Limited distribution; you’ll have to buy this one online, or else pick it up at a brick and mortar location in Europe
- Not very “exciting” or “sexy”, but rather calming and relaxing, which might not be what everyone is looking for
- Vetiver and violet leaves are not everyone’s cup of tea
The Final Word
Overall, I would say that Bon Parfumer’s 003 yuzu, feuilles de violette, vétiver is a lovely spring and summer niche fragrance which I will be wearing the heck out of in the coming warm weather months.
It might not be my favorite fragrance or the most “exciting” fragrance in the world, but I absolutely think that everyone’s collection should include a fragrance or two to wear when you just want to feel grounded, calm, and collected. Sometimes, that’s just what the doctor ordered, and in these troubling times, it’s just what I want.
I rate Bon Parfumeur 003 yuzu, feuilles de violette, vétiver:
★★★★☆ 4 stars out of 5.